Mr. Food: Tasty Terminology

Along with great recipe requests, my mailbag and e-mails to mrfood.com are often filled with questions about cooking terms that we run across everywhere, especially in fancy restaurants, and one that comes up a lot is what’s known as a reduction.

It gets rave results, and here’s how to do it: Now, a reduction means to boil a liquid (usually stock, wine or a sauce mixture) until the volume is reduced as it evaporates, which results in a thicker consistency and a more intense flavor with the option of adding in other ingredients like wine, juices, cream, or seasonings.

Okay, that’s the fancy wording.

In plain language? Well, for starters, to make a reduction sauce of any kind, we want to use a wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan like this one, because the larger the surface area of the pan, the faster the liquid can evaporate; the thick bottom lets us control the heat.

You see, the sauce gets its intense flavor from the juices of our cooked meats, poultry, or veggies – or it can be from another source, like, let’s simply take popular balsamic vinegar.

As it comes to a boil and cooks down, the flavor concentrates and the now-rich, almost syrupy consistency makes it the perfect simple sauce to drizzle over any of our favorites from beef to fish to veggies.

And does that full-flavored concentrated taste make us look good ! And now that we know how easy it is, give it a try for an impressive, flavorful "OOH IT'S SO GOOD!!®"


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